This morning I ran for the first time in 4 weeks. A short run dodging ice and cars. On December 26, after dropping my brother off at the airport in Philly, I spent 8 hours driving home in the worst driving conditions I've ever experienced. I can normally bust that drive out in about two and a half hours. Little did I know that Christmas morning would be the last trail run I did for god knows how long. At the same time I was hit with a nasty sinus infection that dropped down to my lungs. Walking up stairs made me short of breath so running was out. The end result is that I had to drop from the HAT Run 50k because there was no way I was going to get in the miles that I needed to finish the race. It was a bummer and a relief.
When I switched my training over to dirt roads I started to have all kinds of issues with my legs that I hadn't experienced since I left the road for trails. Even with a looong warm up I still had shin splints and sore knees. That, coupled with the absolutely mind numbing boredom of running on the road turned my training from something I looked forward to into another miserable commitment I had to keep. The discomfort I felt on the roads made me doubt that I could finish any trail run that had more flat and runnable sections than the more technical terrain I'm used to running these days. I guess the tech trails call upon so many different muscle groups that I don't experience the repetitive pounding that I do on smooth surfaces. It's counterintuitive but I guess that's the bizarre world I inhabit.
So I spent the last month reading endless Ultra blogs (IrunFar, Ellie Greenwood, Geoff Roes, Wilderness Running Company, Mountain Peak Fitness, etc.) and feeling guilty about having all this nice new running gear I got for Christmas and still sitting on my stupid ass.
I went from this: